February 23, 2006

Askariya Shrine Bombing

This was a big deal, but it hasn't inexorably opened up the gates of hell (ie, full blown civil war) in Iraq. Still, this was a seminal event in the narrative of post-Saddam sectarian tension, and it was timed well given the fragile state of politicking generally as between the different factions. Another major shrine or two destroyed, a particularly grisly series of mass ethnic killings--how much more can Iraq take before degenerating into more significant sectarian conflict? Still, leaders are pledging to rebuild the shrine asap, Sistani (and Sadr) are calling for restraint, national days of mourning will help cool the situation. But, make no mistake, we are dancing at a knive's edge in Iraq. It's an even bet whether the project is salvageable, if by salvageable we mean securing a viable, unitary quasi-democratic Iraq. I take comfort that Zalmay Khalilzad is working overtime to exploit schisms between Sunni tribes, on the one hand, and al-Qaeda, former regime elements, criminal actors, and Sunni irrendentists on the other. Ditto, T&E has improved dramatically, and our counter-insurgency operations have improved dramatically as well these past 12 months. Still, I'm dubious in the extreme about the state of the nascent Iraqi forces (the perpetrators of this bombing may have infiltrated, or bribed, the new Iraqi Army). And we have a Secretary of Defense who doesn't admit there is an insurgency, and a Vice President who announced the insurgency (at least he uses the word!) was in its 'last throes' back in, what, May? If you can't accurately diagnosis the problem you face, it's hard to really come to grips with it, no? The reality is that none of us know, finally, what is going to happen in Iraq, really. Pentagon mouthpieces run around preparing flowcharts indicating the latest town under 'coalition' control (Ramadi is Free!). Others, even more absurdly, have declared the war won. On the other hand, Administration critics focus solely on various memes that we've handed Iraq to Iran, or that civil war is inexorable, or that America has no option but to withdraw and leave Iraq to its own devices. The reality is somewhere in the foggy middle, and I believe fresh leadership at the Pentagon would be helpful in helping bring new thinking to the fore re: how to see this effort through in the coming months and years. But, of course, Bush isn't listening. He's dependent on Rummy. What would Poppy think that a President becomes overly dependent on his advisors? Or Reagan, for that matter? Answer: they'd both find it weak.

Posted by Gregory at February 23, 2006 05:23 AM | TrackBack (2)
Comments

Gosh. Now how about suggesting something useful.

Posted by: sbw at February 23, 2006 02:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

oh dear.

while Im not sure I can disagree with what youve written, I was hoping that youd actually analyze the situation in Iraq in some detail, rather than just lead up to another call for a change in DoD leadership. Look, Greg, I KNOW where you stand on the current SecDef. Just like I know where Sullivan stands on gay marriage. I end up looking to folks like Bill Roggio (who BTW, is back from an extended visit to Anbar Province) cause he at least provides detail from the ground.

Posted by: liberalhawk at February 23, 2006 02:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

yeah sbw, like i haven't spent many hours over the past 2-3 years trying to sketch out and make policy recommendations on how to improve the war effort there. thanks for recognizing that in your note. this goes for liberalhawk too. how charitable of you guys to make it look like i'm simply attacking rumsfeld, without ever offering up alternatives. any search of my archives proves that's bunk, as i've spent countless time grappling with these issues. but i suggest you go read other bloggers that better suit your needs, as you are so underwhelmed by the offerings here. seriously. i'm fed up with these petty little drive-by comments. move on folks.

Posted by: greg at February 23, 2006 03:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

There is no love lost for Sec. Rumsfeld. But it is doubtful what any other Sec. would do in this case also. After tremendous losses and many years, American military is getting things right or at least bit okay in Iraq. There is no further improvement in America's military strategy in Iraq which can have visible bearing on how things develop in Iraq.

- It is all politics in the first place. Sadr wants to take Sistani's position. Sistani is feeling he may loose his grip. Sunni's are not sure of whether to go forward or not. Sciri and other Shiite parties feel weakened. Kurds are wary of Sadr's comments and so on.
- America is trying to shape via it's Ambassador but difficulties mount. May be Sec. Rice needs to stand next to Khalilzad and show overt support to him. In any case, Iraq is the problem totally driven by Khalilzad for America and time to show support behind him.
- The back drop of cartoon story and Iran's nuclear issue; all these things are making things way too hot in Middle East.

So it is really less in America's hand. Everyone in Middle East knows that Pres. Bush can not run away from Iraq just like that. So why not continue to consume American dollars and blood and at the same time use boggy of Americans for blame to further individual agenda? American presence in such a situation is total bonus for Iraqi and Iranian politicians and they will exploit to the hilt.

It may be difficult or counter intuitive to see, but Rep. Murtha line might become true - staying further in Iraq is real loss of American Military and tax dollars. Withdrawal is not going to happen on Pres. Bush's watch; but one thinks loud about that. So Sec. Rumsfeld is just a cog in the wheel with much lesser impact than this comment portends.

Posted by: Umesh Patil at February 23, 2006 04:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

> yeah sbw, like i haven't spent many hours over the past 2-3 years trying to sketch out and make policy recommendations on how to improve the war effort there. thanks for recognizing that in your note.

I apologize. The great unsaid in my comment is that that is what I missed in your immediate vent. You generally offer insight and persepective and, while at bat seem to have wiffed on this one. I try to keep comments spare, in the interests of your bandwidth. Too spare, obviously, because you need to appreciate that I visit this site every day -- the fifth blog on my list, by the way. I have been remiss in never saying so.

I apologize a second time, but that does not diminish the validity of what I said. I'll accept your tough love, if you'll accept mine. ;-)

Regards/sbw

Posted by: sbw at February 23, 2006 05:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

It's an even bet whether the project is salvageable, if by salvageable we mean securing a viable, unitary quasi-democratic Iraq.

Even money? I've tried to maintain cautious optimism, but I'd say the folks at Ladbrokes wouldn't put this at even money anymore. Not that all is lost, but the reality of the situation is what it is.

And I think Umesh nailed it. There is little we can do now from a military point of view - yet it is a positive that we have fixed up our strategy with payoffs in places like Tal Afar. Now it's up to Iraqis to find compromises and satisfactory accords.

Not looking to good on that front right now, though. Especially against the backdrop of ever-intensifying sectarian violence. As I've been saying on this site for the past two years, when bullets start flying, and people start getting killed, the voices of moderation and reconciliation are the ones that are drowned out. So now we have the Shiites further hardening their position on inclusion and power sharing, the Kurds drifting ever away, and the Sunnis lashing out and committing reprisals on top of reprisals in reaction to previous atacks.

Democracy through invasion. Feh.

Posted by: Eric Martin at February 23, 2006 05:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Are we still stopping there, Eric? How about "democracy in an Arab country. Feh?"

WRT Greg's observations I don't mean to sound pedantic, but would venture that the first President Bush was much more dependent upon advisers than his son. Many of his advisers were'nt even Americans. Bush is depedent not on advisers but instead on people to whom he has delegated the making of policy; he articulates a direction, or at least a public position buttressed with a few stock phrases, and thereafter disengages from policymaking

Posted by: Zathras at February 23, 2006 05:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

sbw: peace!

Posted by: greg at February 23, 2006 06:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Are we still stopping there, Eric? How about "democracy in an Arab country. Feh?"

That's not my position, and I don't see any reason why it should be. Muslim nations are capable of democratic transistions (Turkey and increasingly, Indonesia, and historically, Iran - circa 1950s). So I don't think it's a question of religion. As for the question of ethnicity particular to "Arabs" I don't see this as ineluctably determinist either.

One of the better parts of Frank Fukuyama's recent piece was his discussion of the underlying factors that allow for/encourage democratic transition. Due to several causes, these factors are not immediately present in most present day Arab nations - or at least they haven't manifested yet. Part of this has to do with the exigencies of Cold War realpolitik, some with the skill of Arab leaders in coopting subversive elements (relatedly, the only non-coopted subversives are the Islamists who have been used as an excuse to maintain authoritarian regimes).

Another thing Fukuyama said: we don't get to choose the time and place of democratic transition.

That to me is the lesson. Not that Arabs will never embrace democratic reform.

Posted by: Eric Martin at February 23, 2006 06:11 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Are we still stopping there, Eric? How about "democracy in an Arab country. Feh?"

That's not my position, and I don't see any reason why it should be. Muslim nations are capable of democratic transistions (Turkey and increasingly, Indonesia, and historically, Iran - circa 1950s). So I don't think it's a question of religion. As for the question of ethnicity particular to "Arabs" I don't see this as ineluctably determinist either.

One of the better parts of Frank Fukuyama's recent piece was his discussion of the underlying factors that allow for/encourage democratic transition. Due to several causes, these factors are not immediately present in most present day Arab nations - or at least they haven't manifested yet. Part of this has to do with the exigencies of Cold War realpolitik, some with the skill of Arab leaders in coopting subversive elements (relatedly, the only non-coopted subversives are the Islamists who have been used as an excuse to maintain authoritarian regimes).

Another thing Fukuyama said: we don't get to choose the time and place of democratic transition.

That to me is the lesson. Not that Arabs will never embrace democratic reform.

Posted by: Eric Martin at February 23, 2006 06:12 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Historiography demonstrates it's difficult to know where we have been, much less to divine where we are going.

Despite the short term uncertainties current events make likely in the Middle East, opportunities abound that beforehand were unthinkable. For the first time educators who have been shuffling cant as gospel for the last hundred years are obliged to consider what are the underlying essentials for civil society. For the first time, pens in the hands of cartoonists, turn mirrors on the previously sacrosanct. For the first time, the rights of people become valued above their nation states.

Do not despair. The darkness brings its own opportunities.

Posted by: sbw at February 23, 2006 06:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"this goes for liberalhawk too. how charitable of you guys to make it look like i'm simply attacking rumsfeld, without ever offering up alternatives."

I did not say you never present alternatives. I was just disappointed that a post that started out like it was about goings on in Sammarra, Basra, and Baghdad ended up, once again, at the Ering in the Pentagon.


" any search of my archives proves that's bunk, as i've spent countless time grappling with these issues. but i suggest you go read other bloggers that better suit your needs, as you are so underwhelmed by the offerings here."


well unfortunately the others are all equally underwhelming, or worse :) Theyre either too leftie (from Yglesias on out) too righty (WOC, rantburg, etc) too inclined to topics distanct from WOT and international affairs (Drezber, Oxblog) dont take comments (Instapundit, Sullivan) dont take comments without some registration im not interested in (Liberals against Terror) are too narrow (Bill Roggio) etc.

Really, that i keep coming here and keep kvetching, is a TRIBUTE to you:) You're potential is so great - your broad strategic grasp, your avoidance of the standard left-right ideological cliches (Without falling in to the blog fashionable libertarian cliche) your comment policy, your general area of focus, makes it hard to go elsewhere. Thats why its so frustrating when one of the few voices on the net with the capability to hold an intelligent discussion of whats going on in Iraq, Israel, Iran or elsewhere doesnt do so.

And of course you are under no obligation to do so. Its YOUR blog, afterall. And if you really dont want comments on your choice of subject matter, I will refrain.


Im sorry if I offended you.

seriously. i'm fed up with these petty little drive-by comments. move on folks

Posted by: liberalhawk at February 23, 2006 06:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Especially against the backdrop of ever-intensifying sectarian violence. As I've been saying on this site for the past two years, when bullets start flying, and people start getting killed, the voices of moderation and reconciliation are the ones that are drowned out. So now we have the Shiites further hardening their position on inclusion and power sharing,"


At least prior to the Sammarra bombing, I was seeing some evidence of tensions WITHIN the UIA - and that Khalilzad was playing this to get a national deal. It seems too soon to say what Sammarra does to this. Sadrist minions seem among the most reactive, while Sadr himself calls for calm. Hakim, who increasingly sees Khalilzad as an enemy, blames the US. Sistani doesnt, but express impatience. The Iraqi security forces move to protect Sunnis. Id even point to Roggios latest, which may be to pollyannish, but makes some interesting points. It would be interesting to see a real analysis of the situation on the ground, that wasnt focused on scoring points about the original decision to intervene.

"the Kurds drifting ever away"

Talabani seems to have been in the thick of negotiations for a national govt.

"and the Sunnis lashing out and committing reprisals on top of reprisals in reaction to previous atacks."

Im not sure what this is referring to.

Posted by: liberalhawk at February 23, 2006 06:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Zal was doing his best to exploit tensions, but there was just as much evidence that he was being played as there was that he was the player. Groups within the UIA have figured out that if they cozy up to Zal, they can use their potential defection as leverage to get what they want. Thus far, though, all have chosen to stay and maximize their portfolio.

Talabani was in the thick of negotiations because Talabani wants to get the best deal possible - especially with respect to Kirkuk. Unfortunately, I think the Kurds are using Zal the same way some elements in the UIA are: as a bogeyman to scare partners and get concessions. That's what happened last time around when the Kurds talked tough, got what they wanted, and joined the UIA.

Also, while they continue to negotiate, they are also busy signing oil exploration deals on their own, and establishing a foreign ministry. A separate foreign ministry for Kurdistan. Interesting, no?

As for the talks of "reprisals" it was a reference to this:

"Sunni leader Tariq al- Hashimi threatened reprisals for reprisal killings"


And hey, I thought we got your comments at LAT with or without registration? Last couple I saw identified you as "LH"

Posted by: Eric Martin at February 23, 2006 06:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Zal was doing his best to exploit tensions, but there was just as much evidence that he was being played as there was that he was the player. Groups within the UIA have figured out that if they cozy up to Zal, they can use their potential defection as leverage to get what they want. Thus far, though, all have chosen to stay and maximize their portfolio."


Interesting. What is the evidence that the cracks arent real?

"Talabani was in the thick of negotiations because Talabani wants to get the best deal possible - especially with respect to Kirkuk. Unfortunately, I think the Kurds are using Zal the same way some elements in the UIA are: as a bogeyman to scare partners and get concessions. That's what happened last time around when the Kurds talked tough, got what they wanted, and joined the UIA.""

Last time the numbers were different, UIA was stronger. Im NOT ruling out that the net result will be another UIA-Kurdish coalition, I just dont see why this is as certain as you seem to think.


"Also, while they continue to negotiate, they are also busy signing oil exploration deals on their own, and establishing a foreign ministry. A separate foreign ministry for Kurdistan. Interesting, no?"

Oil deals makes sense, as under the current constitution they have the right to. In any case I think they want clearly a ministate under a very weak Iraqi govt (though they may be amenable to centralization in a "rest of Iraq" region that includes both sunni and Shia arabs) - frankly thats not news. As long as they dont go for full independence.

"As for the talks of "reprisals" it was a reference to this:

"Sunni leader Tariq al- Hashimi threatened reprisals for reprisal killings""


ah, well thats reprisals threatened, not committed. Not so much a quibble, as an attempt to see whats happening in this fast changing situation.


"And hey, I thought we got your comments at LAT with or without registration? Last couple I saw identified you as "LH""

I dont remember.

Posted by: liberalhawk at February 23, 2006 08:45 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Last to first LH:

I dont remember.

Ack. Come on over and give it another whirl.

ah, well thats reprisals threatened, not committed. Not so much a quibble, as an attempt to see whats happening in this fast changing situation.

Well, actually, it's both. According to such disparate voices as Juan Cole and Iraq the Model, there have been numerous serious reprisals leaving a very high body count (recently a massacre at a makeshift checkpoint leaving 47 dead). And then, according to Iraq the Model: "Retaliatory attacks on reportedly 29 Sunni mosques."

Oil deals makes sense, as under the current constitution they have the right to. In any case I think they want clearly a ministate under a very weak Iraqi govt (though they may be amenable to centralization in a "rest of Iraq" region that includes both sunni and Shia arabs) - frankly thats not news. As long as they dont go for full independence.

Hey, I didn't say this was groundbreaking stuff, but it is consistent with a pattern of withdrawal. The foreign minister stuff is new though. And I'm not quite sure that the constitution gives them the right to cut separate oil deals with foreign powers without consulting the central govt. You may be aware that my biggest beef with the constitution is its weakness on centralizing oil revenues/control. Still, from what I have seen, other than the Kurds, no one is saying the constitution allows them to do this.

Last time the numbers were different, UIA was stronger. Im NOT ruling out that the net result will be another UIA-Kurdish coalition, I just dont see why this is as certain as you seem to think.

I did not mean to imply certainty. It just makes the most sense. Since the UIA still controls such a big block, the Kurds have two choices: (i) join a minority/slight majority faction (assuming they can form one) that doesn't have enough seats to pick a pres and run a govt, thus ushering in an era of stagnated gridlock; or (ii) join up with the UIA and get what they want on Kirkuk/autonomy through their usual deft negotiation. My guess is they go with the latter.

Especially since the Sunnis they would need to align with to form the minority/sight majority faction are strongly opposed to regional autonomy which is the sine qua non of Kurdish involvement. That appears difficult to resolve since both parties make it a non-starter.

Interesting. What is the evidence that the cracks arent real?

Best evidence to date is the fact that cracks have come and gone before but with nothing to show for them. In the prior rounds, this is how threats of defection were used. As you pointed out, the UIA was more powerful in the past so maybe there is more of a temptation to actually break away this time. Nevertheless, any defecting faction will face the same problems as the Sunnis/Kurds: namely their only other avenue would be a conglomerate coalition of groups that have varying goals. Some of which are in direct opposition to each other.

And even then, they would need assurances from the Kurds and Sunnis that everyone was on the same page. If a UIA sub-set broke away, and then the Kurds went and formed a govt. with the slightly weaker UIA anyway, where would that leave the defectors?

Just seems Occam's razor-ish to me. That's all. But who knows. Possibilities abound.

Posted by: Eric Martin at February 23, 2006 09:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well, Eric, I guess we agree. I also think Arab countries will be fully capable of sustaining democracy. They just aren't right now. Twenty years from now, it might happen; sometime long after you and I are dead, sure. No ineluctable determinism for me, boy, that's for sure.

But where American foreign policy is concerned it matters what is possible now. So rather than tie ourselves into knots trying to appear appear as liberal minded and tolerant as we think ourselves to be while persuading ourselves that only the Bush administration's means rather than its ends are mistaken, I think it better to call unrealistic objectives by their right names.

Posted by: Zathras at February 23, 2006 10:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

But where American foreign policy is concerned it matters what is possible now. So rather than tie ourselves into knots trying to appear appear as liberal minded and tolerant as we think ourselves to be while persuading ourselves that only the Bush administration's means rather than its ends are mistaken, I think it better to call unrealistic objectives by their right names.

I more or less agree with that. Ultimately, we are dealing with priorities, and with spending limits, and other allocation of resource issues. So yes, in the grand scheme of foreign policy, I can think of better places to spend money and focus attention right now. At least better than the current out of balance model.

In fact, I tend to favor a different model of encouraging democratic reform that relies less on our direct expenditures/actions beforehand and more on providing regimes with attractive rewards should legitimate, democratic reform be undertaken. Rewards like membership in treaty organizations, economic pacts and other alliances that bestow wide ranging benefits on its members. Sort of like the approach taken with NATO and the EU. Here is an excerpt from an article I cited in a recent post that discusses this phenomenon in action:

Perhaps the best example of a successful incentive-based approach is with Turkey, which has long sought to join the European Union. When Turkey petitioned the EU for membership, Brussels responded by setting clear political, economic, legal, and social standards for Ankara to meet first. The huge benefits offered by EU membership created a vast constituency for reform in Turkey. As a result, the Turkish parliament has been able to pass eight reform packages in the last three years. Turkey's Islamists have come to support the program, which they see as their best chance for securing formal political protections. The Islamists have cleverly recognized that, since the EU demands that its members institutionalize freedom of religion, Turkey, to become a candidate, will have to loosen government control on religious expression and Islamist political participation. Meanwhile, Turkey's long-dominant military has also signed on to the reform project. Although some of the changes demanded by Brussels will reduce the military's influence, Turkey's general staff has realized that it cannot oppose the project without looking like an enemy of modernization--something the inheritors of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's legacy cannot afford.


Now I recognize that Turkey had a leg up on other regimes in the area, but still, there are many benefits to this approach that could be realized with other less advantaged regimes. And in my opinion, it is more cost effective because you only pay upon the achievement of the desired result. You don't pump money in in order to try to influence change (which rarely happens), you offer the reward down the road.

Anyway, I discuss this in more depth here if you have any interest:

http://americanfootprints.com/drupal/node/2265

Posted by: Eric Martin at February 23, 2006 11:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The gates of hell may not yet be open, but a few people are hanging around them and they look like they are up to something.

A government must preserve the peace and exercise force in a legitimate way. In the attack on this sacred shrine and the numerous and ongoing reprisal strikes, the Iraqi government has achieved neither. The argument can be made that both the UIA and Sistani have arrived at the same conclusion. I see far too many media and bloggers out there quoting Sistani as if he called for peace.

He did. He also, and much more importantly, chided the government of Iraq for being stronger than it has been in years and yet unable to prevent this from happening. He then said that if the government could not preserve the holiest of places, the faithful could. This is a major change in his point of view and public direction to the country. He has already limited his support to the existing government in the elections, which was probably a warning because they have been ineffective or at the least not effective enough, and now he is raising the specter of militias protecting the faithful and their shrines.

The UIA in the meantime pulled itself out of government formation talks and demanded a full investigation of the reprisal attacks, while they were still going on.

Before the terrible destruction of this shrine, I could see one major event leading to the total destruction of the Iraqi government, and that would have been the Interior Ministry not reforming and sectarian security formations remaining in effect. That would have undermined any peace efforts and sent the Sunnis back to the arms of the insurgents (troubling enough, the ones with the most bucks and the least scruples would be a prime draw).

That may or may not still happen, but the ball is rolling in a very negative direction. Tomorrow is Friday. What will the local clerics say in their sermons and what will the faithful do when they are walking into or out of prayers?

The gates of hell have not yet opened, but do not for a second underestimate the impact that this could have. Iraqis have called it the worst day since the invasion.

Posted by: Chris at February 23, 2006 11:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I meant the IAF in my comments. The IAF and Sistani have apparently agreed on this government...

Posted by: Chris at February 23, 2006 11:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

This has been an interesting discussion.

This is not an immediate trigger for a catastrophic decline in the environment - it seems now, 24 hours from the bombing. A real decline, but not a catastrophic decline. But it greatly aggravates a dynamic that was already damn-near unbeatable. The truth is that it's a question of when. When the US withdraws and when things begin to get truly ugly.

If we limp on at full troop strength until at least 2008, it can be blamed on the Democrats, but the reality is the following paradox: only the presence of American troops prevents a total descent into anarchy: yet every day in which this poisonous drip-by-drip civil war continues makes the eventual anarchy momentum even stronger.

Eventually the Sadrists and the SCIRI/Iran leaders are going to get tired of playing along with Khalizad and demand immediate US withdrawls so as to gain the leverage to apply truly brutal tactics to the Sunnis. Nothing else is likely to stop them. If the US doesn't acquiesce, the almost forgotten "second front" is quite likely to open up, probably before year's end.

We will end up pulling out - probably prefaced by heavy aerial bombing campaigns which will be politically unsustainable.

It was an interesting debate up there, but it was all tactical short-term, because no one can bear to think about medium/ long-term. Well, I've thrown my hat in. If someone else wants to take their hand at a credible scenario in which sectarian violence in Iraq peacefully dissipates over the next year or two, I'd love to hear it.

One of the few iron laws of these kinds of situations is that they are always getting better, or getting worse in some way.
Any votes for better?
Well, if anyone wants to make a

Posted by: glasnost at February 24, 2006 02:07 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The WPOST's Dana Milbank was quite right today in observing that Israel's
Ambassador to the UN was not "mincing words" when he
said:

"While it may be true -- and probably is -- that not
all Muslims are terrorists, it also happens to be true
that nearly all terrorists are Muslim."

Probably? Those were not anyone's idea of minced
words. Rather, they were a blood libel against more
than a billion people.

Posted by: skip at March 7, 2006 11:00 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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Gregory Djerejian comments intermittently on global politics, finance & diplomacy at this site. The views expressed herein are solely his own and do not represent those of any organization.


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